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Sexual Harassment Memorandum – Essay Sample

Sexual Harassment Memorandum – Essay Sample

Sexual harassment is behavior that is dictated by the sexual motive, which is undesirable or offensive to the object of such behavior. Such behavior may humiliate, cause problems with health and safety. “Undesirable” is a key word in the definition of sexual harassment. Sexual motive behaviors include the physical behavior (hugging, touching, patting, assault with intent to rape, etc.) and verbal behavior (estimates, offers, and other statements that are sexually abusive and threatening or presenting sexual requests).

In the U.S., attention to the issue of sexual harassment has a relatively short history. In 1964, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, which established the illegality of discrimination based on race, religion and nationality. Ironically, gender discrimination was the last listed in the law. However, this addition had a positive effect on the approval of the position of women in American society and became the legal basis for the formation of attitudes toward the phenomenon of sexual harassment. The very notion of sexual harassment appeared in 1974, during the consideration of the court case on medical assistant, who was forced to leave work because her boss was harassing her.

Every company should have a sexual harassment memorandum that covers the company’s polices regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. It should also include the meaning of this notion, brief explanation of what is it and company’s attitude towards it.

For example, if somebody reports that there were signs of sexual harassment in the office, the manager would have to conduct the meeting and inform all the workers about company’s policy and that this behavior needs to stop. It is a difficult task, because the manager would have to be very careful with names and try not to embarrass or offend anybody and make sure that their work place is a safe environment for every employee no matter which position he or she occupies.

Nowadays the majority of U.S. companies relates to the problem of sexual harassment very seriously and takes precautions. For example, new employees have to read a brochure on sexual harassment and sign it before they start working. In such a way, they show that they understand and support the company’s policy. A study that was conducted by the American Society for Human Resources in 1999 showed that 62% of U.S. companies have a special training course for staff with a detailed account of all aspects on sexual harassment.

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